NC Upset over Deletion of Sheikh Abdullah's Birth Anniversary from JK Calendar 2020, Seeks Review
The party also called for re-launching genuine political activity in the Union territory and release of all mainstream leaders, including the three former chief ministers NC president Farooq Abdullah, his son Omar and PDP president Mehbooba Mufti.
File photo of National Conference founder Sheikh Abdullah.
Jammu: Expressing anguish over deletion of National Conference founder Sheikh Abdullah's birth anniversary from Jammu and Kashmir's official holiday calendar, the party on Saturday sought a review of the decision and said his contribution in the democratic awakening of his people cannot be undermined.
It also called for re-launching genuine political activity in the Union territory and release of all mainstream leaders, including the three former chief ministers NC president Farooq Abdullah, his son Omar and PDP president Mehbooba Mufti.
NC provincial president Devender Singh Rana said Sheikh Abdullah was a visionary leader and statesman who rejected the two-nation theory of Mohammed Ali Jinnah.
"The holiday or not a holiday will not change his towering stature. Abortive attempts have been made many times to denigrate him but the history will speak for him," Rana told reporters. He said the personality of the "Sher-e-Kashmir" cannot be confined in the "myopic prism" of regional politics, as he fought for democracy when the entire nation was struggling to break the shackles of the British Raj under Mahatma Gandhi.
"...Abdullah fought for the marginalized people of Jammu and Kashmir, irrespective of region, religion, caste or creed," he said.
He quoted former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru saying, Sheikh Abdullah is Jammu and Kashmir and Jammu and Kashmir is Sheikh Abdullah. He also referred to his pioneering role in introducing Land Reforms Act, one of the most progressive legislations of independent India, devolution of power under Single Line Administration and empowerment of the Panchayati Raj System.
"Secularism was not just a concept but a way of life and political philosophy for him, which he lived in 1947 by protecting the people of his land and thereafter till his death," Rana added.
"Abdullah was a mass leader and his contribution will continue to inspire generations," he said.
The NC leader said "inept decision" of the government will not demoralise the people of Jammu and Kashmir. "His cherished message of peace, harmony, and inclusiveness will continue to guide the generations to work towards making Jammu and Kashmir a better place to live in."
In response to a question about continued detention of mainstream leaders, he said the Centre should reach out to the people of Jammu and Kashmir in a big way, keeping in view the enormity of alienation.
In Srinagar, the party's provincial spokesperson Imran Nabi Dar condemned the administration's decision, saying the role of martyrs and Abdullah's contribution can never be forgotten.
"This measure is part of a design to annihilate socio-political and cultural individuality of Jammu and Kashmir. We are not surprised to see the administration stoop to this level of vengeance and debartury. We condemn the move in unequivocal terms," he said in a statement.
The Jammu and Kashmir administration has dropped ex-chief minister Sheikh Abdullah's birth anniversary and Martyrs' Day from its list of public holidays for 2020, but October 26 which is observed as 'Accession Day' figures in it.
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